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Am J Gastroenterol. 1997 Jul;92(7):1187-9.

Thyroxine-binding globulin and thyroid hormones after resection of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Second Department of Surgery, Shimane Medical University, Izumo, Japan.



Some human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) produce thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG). High serum TBG levels in such patients may be associated with increased thyroxine (T4) levels. This study aimed to elucidate the serum TBG and thyroid hormone profile in Japanese patients with HCC, to compare the difference between TBG-producing and -nonproducing HCCs, and to investigate the changes in serum TBG level and the thyroid hormone profile after removal of the tumor.


The 40 subjects included 20 patients with HCC, 10 healthy controls, and 10 operative controls. Serum TBG, 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), T4, and free T4 were measured serially for 4 wk after resection of HCC in 16 patients and after control operations in 10 patients. Assay methods were a radioimmunoassay for TBG and enzyme immunoassays for T3, T4, and free T4.


Values higher than the mean +/- 2 SD of controls were considered abnormally high. Of patients with HCC, 60% had abnormally high TBG values, 65% had abnormally high T3 values, 39% had abnormally high T4 values, and 6% had abnormally high free T4 values. The mean levels of TBG and T3 were significantly higher than those in healthy controls, but no difference was found for T4 and free T4 levels. There were no significant differences in various clinicopathological factors between patients with high TBG levels and those with normal TBG levels. After resection of HCC, serum TBG decreased significantly in patients with high TBG levels but not in those with normal TBG levels.


This study shows that >50% of HCCs in Japanese patients produce TBG; removal of the tumor reduces serum TBG in such cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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